A realistic goal for a beginner?
I have never touched a violin in my life, I'm not from a music background, (I played the drums for two years in elementary school) I cant read sheet music. But I've always wanted to learn to play. So Today I went and ordered a cheap Medini MV300 on Amazon. My goal is to to learn to play one song, not master it, but learn to play it so it sounds good to an untrained ear, in six months and play it as a surprise anniversary present. Is that a realistic goal? How difficult should I expect this to be? Note: telling me its unrealistic wont dissuade me from trying lol
This is a very realistic goal. I'd find an in-person teacher if possible, so you can reach your goals faster. If not, you can always use online materials to teach yourself, or you can find an online teacher (e.g Skype).
Depends on the song too and how simple or complicated its transciption is. And if you have a teacher, like Ella says. It might be extra frustrating for you -and the teacher-if the violin setup is not good...so just buying anything might be a hindrance. Do you plan on continuing after ?
Get a teacher. You can learn something short in six months as part of your studies with them.
@tammuz kolenyo I do plan on continuing after, I don't think I'll be getting a teac her for now simply because lessons can be pricey. I might use these 6 months to gauge my interest and decide how serious I want to be about learning going forward (whether I want to get a teacher or just go at it alone). As for setup, I've already started watching and reading multiple guides for the model so I do it properly.
In your case, your goal sounds very doable if you pick an easy sound like Twinkle or Mary Had a Little Lamb. Other simple folk tunes are an option.
What's the one song?
Emminently possible, but try and find a tune that you love. There are some incredibly simple but beautiful pieces in the traditional music repertoire that are approachable to a beginner, but that actually sound really good. The Bear Dance or the Sloe are ones I like. Or Spootiskerry.
Why do you ask? "Is this realistic" then say you are going to do it even if contributors to VCom tell you it is a bad idea?
Carlo is right, if you want to make music you need to find a teacher and a music shop from which you can rent a student violin for the next year or two; after that, if you're still playing the violin and have made the normal level of progress you'll be in the position to invest a couple of thousand dollars into a decent violin with which to continue your journey.
With a teacher, only maybe.
As I have said before, I have had beginning adult students come to me with a song they wanted to play - particularly "Amazing Grace" and "Ashokan Farewell." I was able to get them playing their chosen song presentably in less than a month - and then start the real work of learning to play the instrument. Having such a goal actually made it easier for me to teach them.
Guys, I truly value the importance of a good teacher. However, I stated above that it is absolutely not the end of the world if you can't have one. Please respect the OPs personal situation.
Andrew said: "I have had beginning adult students come to me with a song they wanted to play - particularly "Amazing Grace" and "Ashokan Farewell." ... and I agree this is often the initial goal of an adult learner and has a motivating positive effect, which is essential to adult learners. Playing Ashokan was one of my objectives too, and several years later I am still working on it! Not that I am an extraordinary slow learner, playing Ashokan notes is relatively easy and achievable goal for beginners, playing it well with powerful musicality is another story, and that is what is nice with such "easy" songs, there's room to grow and playing that song well still remains an objective for me even now having reached the level of playing with a local symphony such repertoire as the Beethoven 2nd Symphony!
Sometimes the musicality is in the words of a song. For example, in "Amazing Grace," the words can evoke powerful feelings in many people that they then try to "put to music." Knowing the slave-ship origins of the song can really add extra feeling.
So, maybe I'm reading this wrong. Your main goal is to play one song for an anniversary?And you want to do it in 6 months? Or is this the beginning of a lifelong pursuit?
I don't exactly agree with Timothy's goals, though they are reasonable. Eric, I think your goal is perfectly doable. However, I'd add that this is just a first step and that you will continue playing after you've reached your goal. I would get a teacher if possible, but if personal circumstances (e.g lack of nearby teacher, finances, etc) stop you, that's okay. You can teach yourself if you really, really must.
He never came back to tell us what the song is. If it's Amazing Grace or Ashokan Farewell, that's doable. If it's Meditation from Thais, then not.
I think as an adult, we can be very unforgiving towards ourself because we have an expectations of what a violinist should be able to do and we hold ourself to that standard. It makes us feel that we should be able to do certain things better in a shorter amount of time. But laying a solid foundation is key and is difficult to achieve without a good teacher. "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."- G.K chersterton. This means that we need to let go of our expectation, not expect to sound wonderful right away, and embrace our limitations for the time being. Every progress counts even though sometimes it feels like we are not improving. But given the time, focus, and practice, the possibilities are endless :)
eventually, not everyone started the same way. i didn't have a preconception of how much of an investment a violin is when i started. i think that for the OP, as it was for me, it was a direct correlation between how tentative this adventure seemed at the beginning and how much I was ready to invest. I didnt come from a musical family, didnt have anyone i know around me who knew anything about violins, etc. i started with a cheapish violin then a more expensive one (still sub 5000$) that sounded much better. and practicing the violin is Something i love now, really. assuming one is stays in a good enough of a condition to play, this is a source of pleasure throughout one's life, that will not disappoint (at least in the long run)...the more one practices, the better one gets. so you might start with a song and find yourself playing a bach sonato later on.
Seems like every time I get a student who's "just learning so they can play a song as a surprise for their girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/etc," they quit in like 2 lessons.